What is Search Engine Optimization? – Part 2

By April 17, 2018SEO, Website Basics

If you want users to find your website online, there’s 3 things you need to check off of your list.

  1. Unique, quality text on your website that’s been organized appropriately.
  2. Backlinks from other websites/social accounts – expanding your digital footprint
  3. Recently updated and maintained. Don’t let anything get old or “expire.”

If you can make sure your website covers those 3 bases, you’re off to a great start, and many of the other specifics will take care of themselves. These basic pieces of SEO apply to every website in every industry and will likely make a significant impact in the amount of users that see or visit your website.

Here's the thing...

There are hundreds of different factors that come into the way that Google “ranks” your website, and while it may seem daunting at first, following a few basic guidelines can make a world of difference. Write content that helps people answer their questions, format your website in a way that Google likes, don’t steal from other people. If you’re able to accomplish these 3 things, many of the specifics will work themselves out.

So, what do you do?

Moz does a great job with SEO and Digital Marketing. Take a couple minutes and check out think link about local link building strategies.

We covered most of the basics of content on the previous post, so we’ll move on to the backlinks and recency.

Quality/valuable backlinks are some of the most difficult items to obtain ethically in the world of SEO. Many blackhat web administrators will surreptitiously sell hidden links from their quality websites to others looking for SEO improvements, but the value of those links are dubious at best.

Search engines, like Google, view website backlinks as markers of crediblity for your website. If another website, say Apple.com, has a link from their homepage to your business’ website, Google reads that as “If Apple.com, which I think is a very credible website, is willing to send their traffic over to this other site through a link, that other website must also be credible. Apple trusts that site, so should I.”

It’s this exact idea that makes backlinks from reputable websites so valuable. The more reputable the website that links to your site, the more valuable the link. In order to get these links it often times takes direct communication and work to build a relationship with a company to make your link important to them. For instance, if you’re a lawn maintenance company, and you do commercial work, you should ask your clients if there’s a way you could have your Logo/website link listed in their “Partners” page, if they have one.

It may not always work out, or you may have to pay a monthly or one-time fee to get it on there, but those links are incredibly important for your website’s SEO.

Recency of Information

Much like it’s important to have unique content on your website, it’s important that said unique is up to date, both in the time it was published, and still true.

If your website hasn’t been updated in 5 years, no pictures, no text changes, nothing, then Google has no real indication that your business is even still open. If Google doesn’t know that it can trust users with your website, it won’t take the effort to recommend your site to them for generic keywords related to your services.

Search Engines aren’t necessarily paying attention to your brick and mortar storefront, and they (hopefully) aren’t watching your accounting information to see if you’re still processing transactions. All that they see is your digital presence – your social media, your website, your directory listings. If nothing has changed or been updated in the past few years, you may be falling off of their collective radars.

Take the time at least once a month to update a couple paragraphs of text on your website, or maybe even publish a blog post about what you’re doing or how your services are changing/evolving over time. Having new and fresh content can make a big difference for your SEO.

The Point

Websites are constantly evolving and changing, and so are the algorithms that search engines use to index a website. Just because your website was good 2 years ago, doesn’t mean it’s any good now. An effective web marketer uses a website like a tool in his/her toolbelt, consistently updating and changing the content to better serve the needs of the business.